Monday, June 29, 2009


Hush child.
The moon soon will rise
And with its glow
A milky path will
Lead you toward home.

Don't cry.
The grass along the path
Will hold your tears
Until you need them
For another moonless time.

Sleep now.
Let the soft moonglow
Enfold your tender body
In an easy caress
As you dream of love.

Dream sweetly.
See in your mind
The best that comes
When you awake
And the moon sails on its way.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Hell I Can!

There was an abundance of Pelicans in Florida during my last visit. The bait fish were also abundant swimming in balls of motion close to the sea walls. These large and awkward looking birds spent the entire afternoon diving clumsily into the water and filling their mouths with scoops of little fish. It was not unusual to see small collisions when three birds decided to dive into the same small area as in the third photo above. They are the air-clowns of the tropics.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Begin the Harvest

I harvested two eggplants yesterday...the first we have ever successfully grown. We are finishing the last of the sweet and crunchy edible podded peas with the warm weather coming on fast and furious. They have been wonderful in salads and soups. There is also lovely leaf lettuce that seems to be producing quite well in the heat of the weather. But the piece de resistance is what my husband waits for all summer long:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Catching Oysters

On my recent trip to Florida I was able for the very first time in my life to see an American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) in the wild. These photos (with my point and shoot) are not very good, but considering I was not too close, my skill level is wanting, and also I did not want to disturb them, it is the best that can be expected. That bright colored bill is so strong that it is used it to pry open clams, oysters and other shellfish.

This bird is supposed to be in my area of the mid-Atlantic, but I had to travel all the way to Florida to get this shot.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Deer Me

I think this is what is called the stand off or the show down or better yet, the stare down. I stare and they stare until one of us backs down and ambles off. I won this time. I took this picture from my front door a few days ago early in the morning. Looking carefully you can see the shine of the eye of the other deer to the lower right peeking through the leaves. If you also look carefully you can see the deer fence which is keeping them from eating the roses, sunflowers, etc. that are the gourmet salad I have set just out of their reach. Right now I am working on spraying hot pepper mix over the young sunflower seedlings to discourage a frequent rabbit visitor. I feel so very much like Mr. McGregor!

Friday, June 19, 2009


That tiny velvet box in the back of my closet can be full of jewels which sparkle in every hue, but somehow, none of them are as lovely as these sparkles which adorned my Cotinus coggygria on this dewy morning after an overnight rain.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Real Estate Blues

Tabor's Territory seems to be impacted by the same recession that is impacting everywhere else. She has too much unoccupied real estate with too few renters. It appears that the bluebird couple is back...or maybe these are new bluebirds...they all look alike to her and she thinks they are the more difficult of customers to please. Really, a wren will use any little tuckaway and be quite happy. Mr. Blue is wondering how handsome he may look on this house which recently held the chickadee family.

Mr. B: Hey, babe, come over here and check this place out. It is already furnished!

Mrs. B (or babe): I don't think so. Look at this place. It is brand spanking new. Hasn't seen a tenant yet.

Mrs. B: I guess it could use a coat of paint.

Mr. B: But, babe, I do look so cool against this color! (He breaks into song.)

Mrs. B: (Looking at me with that glance that females share when their men-folk go off the deep end.)

Mrs. B: You can look just as handsome on this roof and it is easier to stand on. Besides there is more room inside.

Mr. B: There is plenty of room in here. Just let me show you, umph!

Mr. B: Hey, babe, where did you go? You should see the construction of the nest in here!

Mrs. B: Here is a nice little green house.

Mr. B: It's OK. I just don't think green is as flattering to my colors. I also think this roof needs some work...

By this time Tabor has drifted off to find hot tea, or coffee, or liquor. This indecision is driving her to distraction.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Swamp Thing

The swamps/marshes near my house are sometimes dark and creepy. The humid air hangs around your shoulders like a panting hot beast. The ground beneath your feet is wet and mucky and sometimes it falls away into some black hole that will promise to suck you up forever. The noise filling the wet air is from a million hungry insects waiting to drink your blood. And then, like a fresh cool breeze, I round the corner and see these.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Crab Lunch

Not sure if I have you or you have me.
Go ahead and hang on.
Pretend that you don't care
About swinging a foot above the water.
I can wait all afternoon

I can swing my head back
and with a flash of style
open my mouth wide.
Guess I will go somewhere to
enjoy this lunch.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Copper Morning

There is nothing that warrants a deep sigh and stimulates hope for mankind quite like the feeling that is savored on the first morning of sunshine after days of endless spring rains. Everything has been washed silver shiny clean and the air smells like life itself. The humid heaviness waits until afternoon. The jazz band noise of bird and bug is slow to start. The day is virgin and bright like a new copper penny just waiting for you to make your mark. But first you sit on the log at the end of the dock and count your blessings.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Golden Robed One

While paddling on a river that is a few hours drive my house we had been seeing wood duck boxes all along the river's edge placed at strategic intervals. Since it is late in the season and the ducks had mostly fledged I did not think I would see one. I was lucky enough to catch a photo of one fledged fellow mid-river as we coasted in the dense shade. Of course, they are very leery of people. I think this little fellow is a wood duck because of the long bill. Perhaps someone who is better at identifying than I can let me know. (Click on photo for full size.)

It was one of those last lovely days before warmer weather would make this type of trip a little stickier and buggier. We were really enjoying ourselves as gentle birdsong and gentle breezes and a gentle current moved us along. We stopped mid-day for a snack in the dark and swampy part of the river. It was too muddy to leave the canoe and so we nestled against the swamp grass and began to eat the food we had packed while getting a private serenade by various birds. I could hear the louder chatter of a bird just behind me. It was so noisy I began to think it was begging for some of my food. I looked up and asked out loud if it was a K-mart store bird and expecting some of my crackers which I was just going to hold out to it. When I turned to look over my shoulder I was so thrilled to see it was a Prothonotary warbler just behind us. Sitting in the hole of the wood duck box just above our heads, he was tending young and/or his mate in the house and perhaps not too happy that we had selected his front yard as our picnic area.

This bird was named by the Louisiana creoles because they thought the color of the bird was like the golden robes worn by an official who was an advisor to the Pope. This warbler usually nests in abandoned holes in trees and we actually saw another at a nest in a hole in a fallen tree in the very middle of the river later that day. The young can swim a little when they that is useful if you are going to live just a few feet above a river. The Prothonotary visits us all the way from Central America and I felt honored to have met him.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The May Fairy Ball

The 'red trail' walk the last week of May in the Mid-Atlantic is one my rewards for weeding all the flower beds. The hillsides are filled with blooming mountain laurel. The trail goes over and around ancient sand dunes and is not near any mountains. Some walkers head straight for the beach to look for fossils and sharks' teeth. I linger and slowly drink in the beauty of all the blooming mountain laurels. In sunny places they dot the entire hillside with what appear to be thousands of fairy hats or skirts. (Click on photos for more detail)

Other laurel plants tucked further in the deep shade of the woods look like pale pink popcorn balls stuck on the ends of branches.

Before the blossoms open they are round fan-folded darts ready to launch on some magical journey. The symmetry of ten points is fascinating. They could be space pods or perhaps some oddly crystallized sugar candy.

Once the blossoms open, most are a pale off white, but sometimes when you round the corner of the trail you can discover a set of deep pink blossoms blushing as if embarrassed by their beauty.

Like little fairy skirts set out for the May Ball they appear only briefly in the spring and then they are gone. If you miss them, you miss them!